Thursday, December 31, 2020

An evening on the deer stand


This deer stand is a major step up from a five gallon bucket. The seat is padded and the two-by-fours keep the legs from sinking into the dirt. No expense was spared.

Twenty-four hours of Michigan Deer Season remain in Eaton County.

Oakland and Wayne Counties have another month. Too many deer. Not enough hunters. Chronic Wasting Disease.

Sometimes this blog is blessed by visitors from foreign countries like Scotland, Australia, Canada and Cleveland. I consider it my mission to share little bits of life-in-Michigan with them.

The chair faces directly south. This is the view looking east from the blue chair. As you can deduce from the shadows, the picture was taken about forty minutes before sunset. I have a very a narrow, safe shooting lane directly east. Basically, to the left of the tall fence post.

Most of this zone is no-go. There are houses a quarter mile down-range.

This is about 45 degrees of arc. It is my prime shooting lane. The closest dwellings are 1.2 miles downrange. It is bounded by a birdhouses mounted on fence posts to both the left and right.

Looking west into the setting sun. Not safe to shoot.

This morning's hunt had no wind and very crunchy snow on the ground. I still got within 70 yards of a deer walking out to my blind. I walk three steps and then stop. Then I pray a Holy Mary (15 seconds). Then three more steps. The foot plant is straight-down. The sound of a deer walking is not Cruuunnnccchhhh. It is Cnch. There are many animals that crunch through the snow. Only humans trudge at a steady pace and have a long, drawn-out foot-fall.

The deer was small and not a quality shot. I passed.

I had a fox squirrel pass within five feet of me and not know I was there.

This evening's hunt was a quieter walk out. The snow was wetter.

I had a large deer pass forty yards east of me. It was "Whooshing", a sound they make when they are distressed and attempting to get a predator to announce its intentions. Oddly, it spent more time looking east into a picked bean field than my way. It may have been a buck. There were no fawns following it.

Unfortunately, it was just entering one of my no-shoot zones. I did not even pick up my weapon.

I hoped it would hop the fence and walk into the safe zone but it didn't. 

I saw a flicker probing for a before-bedtime snack in the roots of a spruce tree about ten feet from where I was sitting. A female cardinal settled in for the night about three feet over head.

Countless geese flew overhead. I remember the first time a goose flew directly overhead while I was deerhunting. It was probably 1985. A single goose and it was a big deal. Now there are too many to count.

A few titmice and juncos rounded out the bird count.

I was spider webs stretching between the spruce branches and the woven-wire fence as the sun set.

I stay in the woods well past legal-light. A gentleman named Jim Balmer suggested that. He told me that you are more likely to be seen and not shot if you come out of the woods when it is dark-dark. Your flashlight shines like a beacon but might get missed if you come out of the woods at deer-thirty.

It is very highly advised to unload your gun before walking back in. Otherwise, the DNR might assume you were hunting rather than walking.

Follow-up on Thank-you card

 Lindsey said you can either type in her user name or scan the image

I, for one, will be glad to see 2020 get the buck out of here.

Have a barf-bag handy


Have you ever wondered why Progressives all sound the same and  why they are incapable of answering simple questions?

There are reasons. For one thing, that is what they are coached to do.

"Conventional wisdom says to meet people where they are. But, on most issues, where they are is unacceptable. Applying tools from cognition and linguistics, we uncover where people are capable of going and how to use our words, images and stories to move them."  -Source

Get that? People are unacceptable. Use 'narrative' to manipulate them.

This site has "guides" on all of the Progressive hot-button issues. Let me deep-dive the one on Police Brutality and Defunding the Police. All text highlighted in blue is taken from that document. Potential responses are highlighted in pink.

It starts with the obligatory froth.


...this has become a fight over American democracy itself, the very nature of the implicit pact between “we the people” and the leaders who claim to govern in our name, purportedly to carry out our collective will....We must seize the story of what is happening, making clear the reasons behind events unfolding in order to have our solutions seem both obvious and worth battling for.
Lift up all the ways people are showing up in cross racial solidarity: examples include neighborhood safety patrols, spontaneous clean-ups, joyous expressions even in midst of protest, food donation and distribution, transit drivers refusing to transport protestors to jail, major corporations speaking in solidarity (no matter how hollow the gesture) etc. These help quell the sense of futility...

The word "futility" keeps showing up in their documents. I suspect that this is driven by focus groups. The sense of "Destiny" is one of the rivets holding their structure together. "Futility" is the opposite of Destiny and Power. One way to plant a torpedo beneath their water-line is to point out that they are the same carpet-baggers who come into poor communities every election cycle and make the same tired promises, promises they have not intention or ability to keep.

Shift discussion from present-tense and observable facts to the future

Make clear, in values-based terms, what people are seeking and create cognitive dissonance between our audiences’ desired self perceptions...

The Progressive movement is founded on the basis of a Utopian vision that will be true sometime in the misty future. Progressives will ALWAYS try to pivot to values, policy and the future. It dies when held accountable for the here, now and tomorrow (literal, not figurative).


You say we need to move away from traditional policing and have Social Workers replace them. We had fifty officers resign in the last month. Give me the names of fifty Social Workers who applied for their jobs. Give me ten. Give me ONE name! There was a screaming need for Social Workers as Parole Officers and they did NOT apply for those jobs because Social Workers don't want that kind of work.

So your vision of defunding the police will abandon single-mothers-of-color in high-crime neighborhoods. It will abandon elderly people-of-color. It will abandon LGBT people and undocumented immigrants who are disproportionately impacted by crime. You are throwing the must vulnerable among us to the wolves to stroke YOUR OWN ego.

Have you noticed the "Peaceful Demonstration" Narrative?

DON’T inadvertently reinforce the opposition’s narrative
▪ Quotations like “a riot is the language of the unheard” actually accepts the premise that events unfolding can be characterized as a “riot.” They can’t.
The Progressives HATE words like "riot" and "looting". Keep using them. They look like liars when they use three sentences to dance around a fact that is accurately summed up by one and two-syllable words.

Outside agitators

And they hate the term "Outside Agitators". You and I know that people don't burn down their own house or the drugstore where they get their meds. Those acts are almost always done by outsiders.

...terminology like “outside agitators” is dangerously opaque; it also has its origins in othering people who protest, people of color in particular. Indeed, this is now bandied about on both sides of this conversation. Instead, use the most specific terms possible that accurately characterize the real culprits in the given situation — e.g. white nationalists, white vigilantes, armed Trump loyalists, etc.
Again, Progressives hate being pinned down. Consider how they would respond to

If you have hard evidence that this violence was done by Trump loyalists or a White Nationalist group and you didn't give copies of that evidence to the cops, then you are an accessory to their crimes and complicit in them. If you don't have evidence then you are talking-out-your-ass just like every other two-bit politician.

The Progressives have abandoned "Peaceful protests"

Admonishing people to peacefully assemble misses the reality that violence is frequently coming in reprisal (not from protesters) and anger is an absolutely understandable and potent emotion that leads to a range of behaviors.
Progressives always want to shift (they love the word "pivot") all discussions to an unspecified time in the future. She says so explicitly:

Pivot when possible toward a future-orientation. People reason much more progressively about the future...

As a practical matter, when reading a document like this always look for words like "Shift" and "Pivot" and "Redirect". Then read what comes before that word. Those words are a klaxon indicating that these are the discussions the Progressives are desperately trying to avoid because they do not have solid answers for those issues.

Specifically, the discussion prior to the "Pivot" clue involved "tension and conflict" created by the Progressive agenda.

Dispel any lingering wisps of personal responsibility by linking to the collective

For example, instead of saying “these protests are about X” say “across our country, people are coming together for X.”
Several paragraphs about avoiding simple statements. Rather, always add a "caboose" of grandiose collectivity. That feeds the "inevitable wave of history" narrative and people want to be on the winning side.

Always, always, always avoid addressing challenges. Sidestep

Acknowledge and redirect challenging assumptions. For deeply polarizing issues in particular, carefully acknowledging a person’s feelings of ambivalence or confusion and then pivoting to desired policy or behavior can be far more effective than simply trying to negate or brush aside these concerns.
The next time you are listening to CNN or NPR, watch how they skirt any challenges. Notice they have two klaxon words in this header. Imagine:

I am not ambivalent or confused. These are facts and events that I, and hundreds of other people, saw with our own eyes. How can any moral person encourage rioting, arson and other lethal forms of violence in our communities. How can YOU support it?

Mitigate stereotyping effects by using the singular. When you must describe more challenging elements of what is transpiring, it is far better to say, for example “when a person breaks into a store they do so...” than “when people break into stores they do so...”
Progressives hate numbers. They want to talk fuzzy-hypothetical rather than reality. If thirty-five people were identified on video as looting a CVS store, then work the number "...Are you legally representing the thirty-five riotors who looted the neighborhood CVS or are you speculating again..." into your dialog. Grind their noses into it. Drag them into the killing-field (Facts, Numbers, Reality) they work so hard to avoid. Whack them with that Ronnie Reagan "There you go again..."

Then the document gives three pages of Sample Dialog.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Thank-you Cards


As you know, the ERJ party hunts a "lease".

Lindsey Perkins, the sister of one of our hunters, likes to draw. She agreed to create the Thank-you card all of our hunters send to the owner of the property we hunt.

Lindsey agreed to let me post the graphic on my blog in case other hunters find themselves in a similar circumstance. That is, you are given the privilege of hunting on property you do not own and want the owners to know you are grateful for the privilege.

I wish I knew how to set up a tip-jar for her. She has a Venmo account but I don't know how to hook things up.

An update from Wirecutter at Knuckledraggin My Life Away


You might have seen this if you popped Knuckledraggin My Life Away

I sent Ken an email and this is what he sent back....

I saw that last night and will be working on it today trying to figure out what's going on with it after I get back into town from Lisa's doctor's appointment.
Weird, but I don't get that warning when I view it from a tablet, just a computer.

I've submitted a request for google to review the site.

Apparently it's something that google is doing to conservative sites - I received an email a little bit ago from another blogger that included these two posts that vox did concerning the same issue.

Also, please let folks know I haven't made any changes to my blog that might've triggered it. Personally, I think somebody reported me.

" Always remember to pillage before you burn"

And they start eating their own



Officials characterized the actions against critical infrastructure as "vandalism".

"Earth First! is effective. Our front-line, direct action approach to protecting wilderness gets results...Earth First! is a priority, not an organization." -Source

Why attack targets with no name-recognition that are a thousand miles away? So much easier to park the BMW three miles from his parent's chateau and do mischief that will make international news. Then back home for lox-on-bruschetta and Yuengling before the Beemer's cabin cools off.

One suspects that the actions would be characterized as "terrorism" if officials did not suspect the perp(s) were the children of the rich, famous and powerful.

Advance tremors

Major catastrophes are usually presaged by advance notice. The industrial accident in Bhopal India was "signaled" by the fact that there were more than a hundred documented cases of containment valves being left open by the cleaning crews. On the night of the accident, the crew left five of them open that allowed the release of toxic chemicals to the environment.

That was a hundred documented cases. It is likely that there were many more cases that were not documented.

I see this incident as advance notice that many more attacks on critical infrastructure will be coming.

Are you prepared for grid-down? Are you prepared for no pressure in your natural gas feed line? Are you prepared for no gasoline or diesel at your closest gas station?

Frankly, the ERJ family is not. We have vulnerabilities. Our pump is electric and the 45 feet of static head defeats cistern pumps. We have a fire-place insert with a 140 Watt blower. I have just enough solar panel to run the blower while the sun shines but the panels are not installed.

 If grid-down became a reality, I could improve our heat situation by pulling the insert out of the hole to expose the entire heat-box and by running about four feet of 6" stove pipe to the chimney. Stove pipe radiates a huge amount of heat and would counteract the loss of forced convection.

But that means I need four feet of 6" stove pipe, two elbows and a couple of sacks of concrete to pour a fireproof apron to put on the floor. I can find those items now. I won't be able to after the grid goes down.

Regarding water, I have good neighbors. I can either hand pump from their shallow wells or dip from their ponds and then hump the water home. I have sleds and five gallon containers but I could use a good wagon or cart.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Follow-up on MLS Demographic post



I wanted to publish a follow-up to the Demographic post.

Most of us are not likely to be besieged by 15-to-20 year-old women seeking shelter in Fort ERJ or Fort Curtis or where ever. But if we were, wouldn't it be nice to have a set of criteria to sort through those we let in the gate and those we suggest try elsewhere?

I contemplated a test but then realized the answer was staring me in the face.

Just look at her hands.

Look at the hand shown above. A single, simple, low-profile ring. Tidy nails. Fingers red from scrubbing dishes or cleaning. Sleeves a bit sloppy from being rolled up. Edges of the sleeve not-white to hide smudges from working.

This is a young woman who would make money for you if you ran a business or will be an asset if forted-in for "the duration".

By comparison, look at this woman's hands. Can you picture her face if you suggested she put on a pair of work gloves and stack wood?

There were other criteria but they fade in comparison to "the hands"

Ideal height of 4'-8" to 5'-2" to minimize food requirements.

Able to pick up thirty pounds and put it on the top of the woodpile as many times as needed.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Letoile Lost. She is the pinnacle of beauty circa 1884. Not a rib or hip-bone in sight.

A few extra pounds of body-fat is desirable. 30%-to-35% body-fat is a GOOD thing in a young lady when vittles might be hard to come by.

A biddable personality.

An old-fashioned word, there: "Biddable". Old-fashioned answers for old-fashioned problems...barbarians at the gate, starvation, lack of external entertainment. Skills can be taught if the pupil is willing.

Is Capitalism responsible for the deaths and privation experienced during the Industrial Revolution?


I recently had an opportunity to spend some time with a gentleman I will name "D".

It started with a chance meeting in a park. I started chatting. We had several common interests and stayed in touch by email.

We met a second time. He was a delight to converse with. Not just educated but smart.

One subject he can converse about and make understandable to the average Joe are the many ways that "hill peoples" are disenfranchised by the dominant culture, invariable flat-landers.

"Disenfranchised" by means of not having legal recourse in property disputes, not being allowed to own property or have access to enough property required to live in traditional ways. 

A typical scenario involves flat-landers invading the better valleys. The flat-landers have other sources of income. The flat-landers can get "official" deeds to the property and then have the police evict the people living there. Or the flat-landers get competing deeds and then contest the original tenant's deeds in court. Or the flat-landers gin up property taxes, taxes they can pay because they have other sources of income. The hill-people are evicted for not being able to pay the taxes and the flat-landers pick it up for peanuts (or palm oil or coffee or...)

Then the flat-landers chase the hill-people into ever-more marginal land and to ever-more abusive agricultural practices as they are forced to generate revenue to pay taxes.

That is when our conversation went sideways.

"D, one of the reasons that I like you is because you are sympathetic to Capitalism" I said.

He recoiled as if he had been bitten by a snake. "Where do you get that?"

"Capitalism is about private property. You just gave me ten minutes of reasons about why hill-people need the property rights that are core to Capitalism" I replied.

"I am not a Capitalist. Capitalism is a horrible system" he said.

I was flummoxed. "How do you figure?"

"Capitalism kills people" D said.

My mind was racing. I know there are people who can make a cogent case that our (the United States') healthcare system is irrational, expensive and has too many perverse incentives. I wondered if that was where he was going. I decided to ask.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"The Industrial Revolution, for instance" he offered. 

The conversation veered off from there. I wasn't going to argue a subject I hadn't looked into.

I think the topic of Capitalism Kills People (Industrial Revolution) is important because if D believes that Capitalism's outcomes during the Industrial Revolution are prime evidence of its shortcomings then it is probably a common belief among his entire demographic.

The Industrial Revolution

Is the proper comparison between mortality rates of a country (or economic system) that is in the throes of tectonic shift in production systems with a country that is plodding along steady-state?

Or is it more proper to compare various countries/systems centered around some keystone marker in the march toward industrialization? That marker could be some percentage (say 25%) of the economy being due to industry rather than agriculture. It could be some percentage of the population being urban vs. rural. It could be many, many markers.

Using that approach, one might compare England or Germany (Capitalist) circa 1850 with the USSR (Communist) and Japan (Militaristic/Feudal) circa 1930.

The death-toll for the USSR industrialization easily tops 3 million. That was the body count for the Ukrainian Holodomor where all food was stripped from Ukrainan kulaks (peasants). That food was exported to generate hard currency to purchase industrial tools from Western Europe. In other words, it was a hidden subsidy to the USSR Industrial Revolution.

Estimates for casualties of the Japanese Industrial Revolution vary wildly, but 6,000,000 is a defensible number based on the casualties in just China and Korea.

It is undeniable that the Industrial Revolution was a time of grinding poverty and privation for many people. However, the life expectancy continued to rise in England and Germany during the Industrial Revolution. I am not sure the same can be said of the regions controlled by Communists and Militaristic/Feudal societies during their Industrial Revolutions.

It is a sleight-of-hand to blame Capitalism for faults that are inherent in massive changes from agricultural to industrial modes of production. In fact, as the first countries to push through that frontier in a major way one would have expected the mortality rates and injustices to be much higher for England and Germany than for the USSR and Japan. After all, the USSR and Japan had a roadmap and it should have been easier and less traumatic.

Fine Art Tuesday


Flight into Egypt circa 1892


George Hitchcock born 1850 in Providence Rhode Island. Died 1913.

Like many American artists, he went to Europe to learn the craft and hang out with other artists. Unlike most American artists, George had a law degree from Harvard. Apparently, he thought he could do more good for humanity by throwing paint onto canvas than by writing contracts.

The European influence shows in the background of this painting. The taller white-flowered plants are Queen Anne's Lace or Yarrow and the blue-tinted flowers are Chicory. It is doubtful that they grow in such abundance in the Holy Land. Incidentally, all three of those flowers are late summer bloomers, so this painting was probably from August of 1892. Hitchcock places the travelers on a back-way that sees little traffic.

This was a big seller and Hitchcock produced many variations of it.

For those who are unfamiliar with the story of Joseph, Mary and Jesus's flight into Eygpt, Herod Antipas heard that a "King" was born in Bethlehem. Herod was the governor of Galilee and Syria. Rather than risk the chance that he would lose his cushy position as governor, he sent soldiers down to Bethlehem to slaughter all boys below the age of two.

Joseph was warned in a dream. The family blew-the-pop-stand just ahead of the soldiers and stayed in Egypt for an undefined amount of time.

If you believe that people have not changed significantly in the last two-thousand years, the story of the Flight into Egypt should serve as a stark reminder of what people are willing to do to hang onto power, even two-bit governors ruling in the ass-end of the empire.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Other causes of mortality

Kubota was in a traffic accident last week. Details are sketchy and will probably remain so. Both occupants of the vehicle were injured. Kubota is in a sling with a strained rotator-cuff injury, bruises and cuts.

Then, this weekend, one of the neighborhood kids was in a traffic accident. He was not so lucky.

Mrs ERJ is close to the kid's grandmother and it really shook up Mrs ERJ. That could have just as easily been Kubota.

That family has had a tough year and it did not get any easier. Please keep them in your prayers.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

The limits of science

The Kid, from the lofty heights of 12 years on this rock, informed me that "God is bunk".

Well, actually, he told me that "Science" is his religion. God may, or may-not exist. But since it was not something that can be tested by science, it was of no interest to him.

Such cynicism!

I left it alone with just the subtlest of pokes-and-prods. Yep. That is what he believed.


On the trip out to where we were havesting firewood I asked him if he thought SCIENCE could answer all problems.

"Sure enough, Mr ERJ" he cheerfully answered.

I was silent. 

He has me figured out. "That means you think it can't."

"Interactions" I said. "The problem is interactions."

"Do you know what interactions are?" I asked.

"No" he reluctantly admitted. At least he didn't know what the word meant in the context of this conversation.

"What happens if you combine air, gasoline and a lit-match?" I asked.

"BOOM!" he answered.

"What happens if you have air and gasoline but no match, does anything happen?" I asked.

"Nothing happens" the Kid admitted.

"What if I doubled the amount of gasoline?" I asked.

"Still nothing" he said. 

"What if you have a room full of air and throw in a lit-match. Then you pick the lock on your dad's shed to get the can of gas and come back five minutes later and add the gas? What happens then?" I asked.

"Maybe it explodes, maybe it doesn't" he reluctantly conceded.

Permutations and Factorials

"Do you know what factorials are?" I asked. He is very sharp at math.

"No" he replied.

Then we did the "How many ways can you and your buddies Tommy, Timmy, Tabouli and Tammy and.... order themselves in the lunch-line problem."

1! (one factorial) = 1

2! (two factorial) = 1 X 2 =2

3! = 1 X 2 X 3 = 6

4! = 1 X 2 X 3 X 4 = 24

5! = 120




8! = 40,320

Then I brought up the problem of Covid. "Why do you think nobody is investigating the effectiveness of Vitamin D combined with Zinc combined with Ivermectin combined with sunshine combined with exercise....?

If scientists had eight factors that MIGHT interact in a positive way then they would have to run a minimum of +40,000 combinations.

Then add the fact that they would need to run multiples at each combination to have any certainty that the outcome was not biased by external factors. Since it is not ethical to expose people to Covid, you might need a thousand people per mix of factors. 40,000 X 1000 = 40,000,000 experimental subjects.

It is not that science cannot sort through the issues but that it cannot do it economically. How many nurses would have to be hired to track all of the experimental subjects? Half a million?


Catalysts are factors that change the speed of a reaction. They can speed it up or they can slow it down or even stop a reaction.

Consider the combination of a human toddler and deep water. Science tells us that a toddler's center of gravity is above his center-of-buoyancy. If a toddler tumbles into deep water (even a five gallon bucket) or slips down a steep slope into deep water, there is a +99% chance the toddler will drown. Given the ubiquitous nature of deep water and toddlers, we should be losing thousands of toddlers every year to drowning.

Yes, it happens. But if you read the accounts carefully, you will see that the drownings always occur when a catalyst is absent. That catalyst is "an attentive adult".

So what happens if you nearly finished running your 8-factor, full interaction experiment when you realize you forgot to include the possible presences of a catalyst? Surely it is just a tiny adjustment, after all, you included eight-of-the-nine factors?

No such luck. In round numbers, 9! is 360,000. You ran 40,000. That means you need to run an additional 320,000 combinations (times however many replications per combination) to "understand" the science of the situation.

Non-linear responses

Homeopathic remedies defied scientific understanding for a long time. The scientific method is a way of "seeing" the universe. Unfortunately, it is not very sensitive to relationships that are non-linear in cause-effect.

Many homeopathic remedies are non-linear in their dosage. A little bit is good. A lot is bad...very bad.

Another example of nonlinear relationships involves medicines that saturate certain chemical pathways. They are of minimal therapeutic value until the vast majority of the pathways are  "blocked" or "locked out" by the drug. Examples of this class of drug include certain antibiotics and drugs used to modify the chemistry in the gap junction between neural ganglia.

That increases the number of variables by 50%. You now have a null level, a low level and a higher level (assuming you can make intelligent guesses regarding low and high levels) to sort through. 8! became 12!.  40,320 becomes 480,000,000 combinations. That is about 50% more than the population of the United States. And that does not even comprehend the need for multiple replications to wash-out random variables.


Another quirk that stymies traditional "science" involves time-lags. 

Suppose I worked in a factory as a Dimensional Engineer and I moved a locating pin 1.0mm. I would naturally expect the very next part to be welded to the sub-assembly 1.0mm +/- 0.2mm in the direction I moved the pin.

If the tooling had been hit by a robot and needed to be adjusted, it should not take long to move the various pins and clamps to bring the assembly back to nominal.

If only.

Suppose somebody has the bright idea to not heat-treat the steel locating blocks that squeeze the part to the sub-assembly before welding. Or maybe they substitute a cheaper, low-carbon grade for the O-1 tool-steel that was specified. Then, the block would be no harder than the sheet steel instead of 55 Rockwell C. By comparison, knife blades are usually 58Rc and springs 40Rc.

In time, steps would wear into the blocks and any attempts to locate the parts by moving the pins will result in the part flexing as it attempts to overcome the step that traps the edge. A large move or a move on a tool where the steps were not pronounced might have the pin move register after running twenty parts. Smaller moves or on tools where the steps are deeply eroded might never show up while the average might be two hundred parts before the move "takes".

Conventional, two-shot vaccines are structured around a 3-to-6 week gap between the two shots. The first shot sets up the "tooling" in the lymph nodes to manufacture antibodies. The second shot convinces the body to go into full-bore production of those antibodies.

What if the 3-to-6 week gap is longer than that? That is a big deal for flu which mutates rapidly but would it be a big deal for a virus or bacteria that might mutate more slowly? A viable, therapeutic vaccine with lower (or slightly different) formulation might work just fine but "Science" will miss it.

The point

The point of the conversation I had with the Kid was that "religion" and "God" are ways of seeing the universe and a code for interacting with it.

Science is another way of understanding the universe and getting a handle on how to interact with it to get results that are more to our liking.

The two are compatible. Science, contrary to what non-scientists WANT to believe, has limits.

Religion (and God) are more concerned with TRUTH than with FACT. TRUTH does not have a half-life while FACT's half-life is embarrassingly short.

Religion is about questions. Science is about answers.

Science's main shortcomings are that it cannot see what it is not specifically looking for and it crashes full-tilt into economics when the questions get too complicated.

Presented without comment

 Three minute video

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Belladonna update



Belladonna's program starts in January.

She is sucking up every hour of work she can. Time will be at a premium after she starts the program. The last three mornings she has been out-the-door at 5:30 AM and back after six.

I miss the old girl. So I wake up at 5:00 AM to see her off.

Unfortunately, she decided that she can count on me to prevent her from over-sleeping. She hits the snooze, knowing that I will roust her out of bed fifteen minutes before she must leave.

She pretends to not hear me when I unlock her bedroom door. (OK, it is complicated. Her bedroom door is an exterior-grade, steel, fire-door with a Schlage dead-bolt lock. Entering her room is not done casually)

She pretends to not hear the German Shepherds' toenails clickity-clack on her hardwood floor.

She pretends to not notice the slice of Velveeta Cheese that I slick down on her  exposed arm.

Then, she pretends to not notice the hounds-of-heck jumping on her bed to deprive her of her cheesy bracelet.

I leave the room. I trust the dogs to do what she would cut my head off had I dared to wake her.

Division-of-labor is a wonderful thing.

Isn't it rich, are we a pair
Me here at last on the ground, and you in mid-air
Send in the hounds

Sleeping is bliss, you don't approve
One who keeps tearing around, and one who can't move
But where are the hounds, send in the hounds

Just when I stopped hitting snooze
Finally finding the dream that I wanted, was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines, nobody's there

Don't you love a farts, my fault I fear
I thought that you'd want what I want, sorry my dear
But where are the hounds, send in the hounds
Don't bother, they're here

Isn't it rich, isn't it queer
Losing my alarm-clock this late in my career
But where are the hounds, send in the hounds
Well maybe next year

First videos of patients reacting to Covid vaccines (Humor, I think)


There has been much curiosity regarding the nature and severity of the reactions to the Covid-19 vaccinations.

Ever your faithful scribe, I searched the internet to find answers.

Bonus link.

Men who do evil in the night

From Dangerous

Hobos were itinerant workers. They often rode the trains and never got paid enough to stay in hotels or eat at restaurants. Consequently, they relied on the charity of kind-hearted people.

Not everybody was kind, though. So they devised an ad-hoc system of marking curbs, walls or walkways to inform other hobos about the nature of the residents living in houses close to the railway.

Quite likely, there were regional variation in the marks but the image shown above gives you a sense of what was important to a hobo. Notice that the symbols are coarse enough that they could be rendered with a bit of chalk or charcoal.

Taking names and kicking...

Alinkski's First Rule is "Power is not only what you have but what your enemies think you have"

One of the things you learn when you are handling animals like cows or sheep is to avoid looking directly at them. Herbivores have eyes set on either side of their heads to give them 360 degrees of vision. Predators have both eyes facing forward to give them binocular vision.

When a cow sees two eyes, they instinctively realize A.) The animal looking at them is a predator and B.) The predator is looking at THEM! Looking directly at a cow at close range results in a major shift in their personality. You quickly understand the origin of the word "coward".

Men do evil in the night

One way to get children to behave is to let them know they are being watched

I propose a curb symbol to identify those who have been destroying our country. It would be on the curb OPPOSITE the home where the traitor lives. That way, they will see the eyes every time they look out their window or as they back down their driveway.

Men do evil by night because they hate the light and fear being identified and held accountable. A little bit of fear is not a bad thing.

Bonus Link: All Politics are Local

Eyes: Just letting you know that you are being watched. Arrow pointing at the house in question. Simple enough to make with a can of spray paint.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Fake News Friday: Wakanda within the Continental US


Dear Black Neighbors:

Even though we were not held slaves by White people, we have deep feelings for your racial pain. I hope you don't mind our presuming to say so.

Moved by empathy at the systemic racism that prevents you and your people from succeeding, my family took a vote and we agreed to GIVE you almost three million acres (over 4000 square-miles) in the South to create Wakanda.

The gift comes with two conditions:

In order for us to truly "feel your pain" we have to swap lives. You get our land and access to the vast sums of money the Federal government gives large land owners and you give us your tenements and whatever crumbs of support you get from the US and state government.

No backsies. This is a straight-up trade. The families who move to New Wakanda (or whatever you choose to name it) must stay for the remainder of their lives. Given the advances in biotechnology you will undoubtedly create, that could be another two or three hundred years. 

With deepest love in our hearts,

Chief Spotted Elk, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Wednesday fishing report

We did not go fishing.

We cut firewood.

It takes money to go fishing. Rods, reels, line, lures, bait, hooks; it all adds up.

The plan is for the Kid to split the firewood into smaller pieces and sell it by the bundle to city-slickers.

We had little bumps and frictions out in the woods. It is inevitable whenever two people work together for the first time.

Some things were not worth arguing about. I let him attempt to chop down a tree with the splitting maul. The tree won.

He was stressed after I informed him that the vines on the logs he was stacking in the truck might be poison ivy. He could have performed surgery after washing up. He darn near scrubbed his skin off.

He wasn't too keen on the slimy stuff where the logs had been touching the ground or the dead carpenter ants that infested some of the logs. I suggested they might be a tasty treat for his fish. He has an aquarium. He thought I was joking.

The Kid's parents are on-board with the business idea. They were happy to have him back, worn out. He immediately jumped into the shower.

I suspect the Kid's dad is going to get some exercise splitting some of that wood. It will do them both some good. The Kid will see his "old man" can still whip is azz at pure strength and his dad will get some honest exercise.

Fearless predictions for 2021

1.) Prediction: Joe Biden will serve as POTUS from January 20 through the remainder of 2021. 

Reasons: One sock-puppet is just as good as another. They hid him through the entire campaign. They can hide him while he is serving. 

2.) Prediction: The GOP will retain control of the Senate.

Reasons: The Deep State will get the legislation they want by flipping a couple of soft-RINOs and can still blame the GOP when the legislation they promised the useful idiots does not get passed.


3.) Prediction: Cities will burn in July and August

Reasons: The useful idiots will start to get a clue that Deep-state doesn't owe them anything. They will blame Biden. Hell knows no fury greater than a third-string side-chick who got bumped off the end of the bench.

4.) Prediction: Prices will get crazy in very unpredictable ways.

Reasons: The United States was a society of incredible productivity and affluence. The excesses of affluence are being replaced by the excesses of privation. People will hoard on "rumors" of shortages. One person will report a truck of Brussels Sprouts over-turned in the Central Valley and the next thing you know it will be impossible to buy a single sprout for love nor money.

5.) Prediction: People will stop donating to the Democratic party.

Reasons: The Democrats/Deep-state now owns the election process. That is starting to sink in and even the dimmest bulbs can see the implications. A handful of people can create whatever margin of victory they desire by typing on a keyboard. So why do they need contributions from Unions and little-people? So Ilhan Omar can buy another three husbands and own the full set?

6.) Prediction: Former President Obama will start to sound reasonable

Reasons: There will be so many crazy people screaming crazy ideas that even former radicals will start to sound centrist.

7.) Prediction: Melania Trump will be happy

Reasons: The media treated her with less compassion than they would have given to a rabid wolf attacking the NYC's Gay Pride parade. Melania will surround herself with loyal, pleasant people and turn her back on public life. I wish her God's speed.

8.) Prediction: Donald Trump become the boogeyman the press claims he was

Reasons: He already paid the price. He might as well enjoyed the dance.

9.) Prediction: Covid will remain a drag on the economy for the entire year

Reasons: Socialists hate the private sector. Covid has been too good of a tool to discard.

10.) Prediction: Somewhere, somebody will still have a free spirit and fill their part of the universe with joy.

Reason: Because it will bother the Socialists

11.) Prediction: There will be a resurgence of interest in revolvers and the .38 Special will regain popularity

Reason: Gun control loonies want to make semi-automatics harder to own. If you want to practice with your handgun then revolvers will be the only weapon allowed in some places. As a practical matter, shooting a revolver in double-action is difficult. Mastery of the revolver in DA hones skills that transfer to other, easier-to-shoot handguns.

12.) Prediction: Not only will our country continue to split apart, every individual will split into the PUBLIC person and the PRIVATE person.

Reason: Safety. Suppose 9mm hollow-point ammo becomes worth $5 a round. Furthermore, suppose the PUBLIC me posts a picture of 5000 rounds of 9mm ammo on social media. How long before somebody breaks into my house and steals my stash?  ---Disclosure: I do not have 5000 rounds of 9mm ammo in my house. That was an example---

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Fine Art Tuesday (Guest commentary)


Harvest Time 1875

James Docharty born 1829 in Vale of Leven, Scotland. Died in Glasgow in 1876.

Over the Loch to the Hills

One thing that sticks with me about heaths is that they are essentially degraded habitats. English cultural dominance has varnished over that by giving them more due than they deserve. Docharty added to that. 

Nice paintings, though. There are many similar works and artists. I frequently see grouse hunting scenes on the heaths and moors by contemporary artists. I am into sporting art, a narrow genre, and art follows money. Heaths and grouse are a weird subculture for the upper classes. Fawning wannabes from the U.S. are a large part of what props it up. The heather has to be cropped to keep succession at bay.

Blueberry barrens/fields here are the same. They are biological deserts and usually do not reflect original conditions. (Except on exposed bluffs that were subject to frequent lightning strikes) We are all victims of shifting baselines. What we are born into we think is normal. This province (Nova Scotia) was burnt to the ground by settlers many times. Vast areas have no or little soil carbon which has produced more poorer land. Acid rain, and other abuse, has added to it.

When I was younger l heard the term heathen a lot. It was a pejorative that confused me until l found that it referenced the uncouth, irreligious, and poor from heath lands. How far back it dates would be interesting to know. Maybe, it goes back to the pagan fears in the middle ages. Cultures and empires have long half lives.

A tip of the hat to Lucas Machias of Nova Scotia who graciously supplied the commentary.

My first encounter with a Social Justice Warrior


I was a Junior in a Catholic High School. Since it was a Catholic High School, we were required to take a "religion" class every term.

Through some mysterious process, I found myself in a "seminar" taught by Sister B.Z. Lee (not her real name).

Before I go on with the story, I need to give a tiny bit of background...background that was not available to me when I was a student.


Before Vatican II and Women's Liberation, Catholic women entered the convent in vast numbers. Their labor was not highly valued in the Church if only because of its abundance. Supply-and-demand and all that. 

VII and Women's Lib fell on the convents like the Black Death. And like the Black Death in Europe, the price of labor shot up.

Nuns are not stupid. With number of women joining the convent reduced to the tiniest trickle, the nuns who were in place realized that they now had huge amounts of bargaining power. Whereas the least academically gifted had been used as janitors and to wash clothing, they were elevated to fill the ranks of teaching positions that hither-to-fore had been filled by younger nuns.

Grasping their moment in the sun, nuns started protesting nuclear power plants, military bases, construction equipment and they happily allowed themselves to be arrested and tossed into the hoosegow. It was a heady time. Jail was not that different from the convent except they didn't have KP duty.

Another thing that happened is that nuns demanded...and got...access to advanced degrees. The Church hierarchy thought/hoped that it would trim off some of the nun's new-found energy.

Back to Sr. B.Z. Lee

It seems likely, in retrospect, that Sr. B.Z. Lee was collecting data for a Master's or Ph.D thesis. The "seminar" was held in a cozy room with padded easy-chairs.  Sr. B.Z. Lee worked from a crib-sheet where she read off "facts" and then we earnestly discussed what we had just "learned".

Did I mention that I got a "D" in this class?

Religion class was pretty much a guaranteed "A" if you attended and I pulled a "D" in this one while demonstrating 100% attendance.

One example of the chemistry between Sr. B.Z. Lee and me: 

Sr. B.Z. Lee reading from her script and pointing at a map of Africa "In most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, four-out-of-every five babies dies before age five. Not only that, but the life expectancy in those countries is fifty years of age."

Me, clearing throat and raising my hand. "That doesn't make any sense at all."

Sr. B.Z. Lee, avoiding eye-contact by looking down at her notes. "What doesn't make sense?"

Warming to the opportunity to share my insight "Well, if the average life expectancy is 50 years and 80% of the babies die before age five, then the person who survives past age five has to live to almost 250 years of age. I mean, that is not a bad deal if you think about long as you make it past age five."

Sr. Lee lifted her eyes from her cheat-sheet and stared at me with a look of complete incomprehension. There was probably a reason why her advanced degree was not going to be in math.

She reacted to my "sharing" by grating out through clenched teeth "In most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, four-out-of-every five babies dies before age five. Not only that, but the life expectancy in those countries is fifty years of age."

Every session she presented "facts" that were supposed to shock, horrify and enrage us. Every session I pointed out common sense facts (clearly obvious to high school kids) that were impossible to reconcile with her "facts".

By the end of every session I had her on the verge of having a stroke.

And like all good Social Justice Warriors (forty years before I first heard the term) she was vindictive and gave me a "D"...even though the syllabus said we were encouraged to discuss the "facts".

My parents

The more I think about my parents' non-reaction to my pulling a "D" in religion, the more I respect them.

Catholic schools are expensive. Indexed for inflation it probably works out to about $6k per kid. My parents drove ancient station-wagons, wore second-hand clothing, never ate out and did without many things to send us to Catholic schools.

The primary reason we were sent to Catholic school was so we could attend religion class.

And I pulled a "D".

I suspect my dad asked a few question regarding the nature of the "seminar". Dad was nobody's fool. He had the misfortune of working with people pursuing an advanced degree; ones who were trying to spin smoke, mirrors and cotton-candy into a thesis.

We never talked about it. If it had bothered him in the least I am sure we would have.


Smartphone on a Shelf

I misplace my smartphone on a regular basis.

I rarely had the problem with my flip phone. It was smooth and compact and rugged. It slipped easily into any pants pocket.

My smartphone is much larger and chunkier. It leaps out of a shirt pocket like a freshly caught steelhead. I fear for it longevity when in a pants pocket. Some of my outdoor pursuits are not gentle.

Mrs ERJ thinks my losing the phone is Freudian. She thinks I don't like my phone.

She might be right.

This week we started playing smartphone-on-a-shelf instead of elf-on-a-shelf. No, I don't get to leave it there.

"Zeus. Phone!" I command. Then I wait for Zeus to find my phone.

(spoiler, it has peanut butter smeared on the case)

After finding the phone, Zeus gets accolades and another large, peanut butter smeared treat.

A hungry dog has an IQ that is 50% higher than a full dog.

As time goes on the hiding places will get harder and the amount of PB smeared on the case will shrink to zero.

While he enjoys the treats he hasn't quite thrown himself into the spirit of the game.

I don't think he likes smartphones, either.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Which demographic has the best chance of surviving "Spicy Times"?


First of all, our most-likely-survivor (MLS) will be a girl or woman.

Source of images

With very, very few exceptions, women have lower mortality during extreme events than men. During Holodomor, the Ukrainian famine of 1933, men had 60% higher mortality rates across a very broad age spectrum.

I speculate that is because women have lower base, metabolic "Emaintenance" demands because they typically have smaller stature and reduced muscle mass.

But how old?

Our MLS will not be an infant. Infant mortality is horrendous in chaotic environments. Infants do not have the portfolio of antibodies needed to negotiate filthy environments. Their tiny bodies dehydrate in the blink of an eye and are subject to hypothermia.

The bottom three curves show a distinct preference for 15-to-20 year-old women having the highest survival rates.

The illustration above shows the demographic "counts" by age after the catastrophic events. The initial inclination is to estimate the survival rate by looking at the slope of the declining curve with flatter indicating a higher survival rate, that is too simplistic because it does not comprehend the base population.

If you take that into account, you should never bet against a 15 year-old woman, especially if she can cook, garden, fish and demonstrates a pleasant personality. This is not my opinion. It is data.

Military Occupational Specialties

Mrs ERJ had to run into the Walmart after Mass yesterday. I had a few other errands to do. I finished up first and rather than try to find her in the store I elected to wait in the store's entryway.

A man was stationed at a table there. His job was to screen incoming employees for a fever.

The man behind the table had a gift-for-gab. An older gentleman was walking out and the man behind the table noticed his Air Force hat and thanked him for his service.

Soon, the two men were chatting like brothers. As they talked, I learned that the man behind the table had twenty years of military service in the Army and had four MOSs in that time. An MOS is a Military Occupational Specialty. Among other things, he had been a cook, an MP and had repaired tank turrets.

I visit some blogs where the owner informs everybody that the only people who are going to survive when things get sporty are the ones who have been in the military. Everybody else is doomed.

The conversation between the two gentlemen highlights that the reason the military is so effective. It is, in part, because the guys at the point-of-the-spear only need reach out their hand to find more ammo or a hot meal or a ride or a tank that works.

Those will be lacking during sporty times.

Another thing that will be lacking is any sense of confidence that the guy beside you is capable of doing his job. When you worked for Big Green you had confidence that the guy behind the wheel had been trained to drive the rig you were jumping into and you were confident that the mechanic who worked on the brakes knew his job and had adequate parts.

The military functions with many short-timers. They work around that by fragmenting jobs into many small, easier-to-train slivers. The price is that the soldiers and Marines who don't reenlist might have a misconception about the complexity of "everything else".

I am not slagging the military. They did what they had to do considering the duration of enlistment.

But I am slagging the bloggers who had four years of active duty, spent two months in a FOB and thinks they are going to rock-the-world during spicy times.

Frankly, NOBODY is going to rock-the-world in spicy times and it will be impossible to predict who will survive long-term.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Practical considerations for "Bead Guns"


"Bead Guns" are a staple of science fiction. Conceptually, it is a short rail-gun that fires a tiny bead* at a significant fraction of the speed-of-light.

If the 14.5mm Soviet anti-tank (and GPU round) is the practical maximum amount of recoil for a man-fired weapon, then a 1.0mm aluminum-oxide bead will have the same momentum (equal-and-opposite creating the recoil) when fired at 0.1C. The upside is that it will have approximately twenty-eight thousand times as much kinetic energy as the 14.5mm round.

The momentum deposition of the impact on the target is not as straightforward as it first appears. After all, it has no more momentum than the 14.5mm Soviet. What caves-in and destroys armor is the fact that the bead's energy is converted to heat when it impinges on the armor and the vaporized (plasma, actually) armor creates inward momentum as it explodes outward.

One technical problem that is usually overlooked by Sci-Fi writers is that the energy in the bead rapidly converts to heat as it travels through the atmosphere. Without some "tunneling" strategy, the only way to ensure a bead actually makes it to the target is to fire a great number of them in rapid succession. That causes recoil problems and tends to launch the person shooting the rail-gun into low-earth orbit.

Fortunately, for every problem there are usually multiple solutions.

The most elegant solution is to "drill" through the atmosphere with a 85nm (on earth**), short-wave length UV laser before launching the bead.

85nm is the wavelength associated with the energy required to ionize N2. N2 is approximately 75% (by mass) of earth's atmosphere. A sufficiently powerful enough of a laser will superheat the air along the path and cause it to explode outward, much like the passage of lightning. Appropriately timed, a bead can be fired down the tube of near-vacuum and thus avoid the problem of vaporizing enroute.

I hope this treatise has been helpful as we all tinker in our basements during Covid times.

*"Bead" morphs to something entirely different when translated from Standard Galactic back into Archaic American English. "B", as everybody knows, translates into "30". The remaining characters translate into -06.

Based on this rudimentary linguistic analysis, we can look forward to major advances in propellants and sabot technologies in the future.

**Other planets require different laser wavelengths if the primary component of the atmosphere is something other than Nitrogen.

When Engineers work from home


I just came across the 2014 comedy Neighbors starring Seth Rogen and Zach Efron. One of my favorite scenes is when the fraternity next door begins subjecting Rogen’s character, Mac, to a series of escalating pranks after he calls the police on their house party. Mac knows the frat brothers have broken into his wife’s car and stolen the airbags, but he can’t figure out why until he sits down on a booby-trapped office chair. 

The airbag launches Mac into the air, slamming him into the drop ceiling before crashing back down onto his cubicle desk. Somehow, he even loses his shoes as he’s tossed into the air like a rag doll.

Now, what would engineers do if they were working from home and had access to simulation software?  (Note: Four second video of simulation results at the link.) high we can launch a virtual Seth Rogen? We set out to find out what would really happen if you sat directly on top of an airbag and deployed it.

We placed the airbag on the seat of a chair where our 200-pound adult human model would sit. For this study, we used the Humanetics Hybrid II 50th Aero FE Dummy Model along with Altair RadiossTM, a solver for highly non-linear problems under dynamic loadings. An aerospace dummy was used rather than an automotive model since it allowed us to observe the axial spinal thrust caused by the initial airbag interaction and forces applied to the neck purely in the Z direction.

And then

...the simulated physics of a surprise airbag-induced flight match up quite well with the movie special effects of Neighbors, but the injury risk data extracted from our crash simulation show how dangerous this experiment could be in practice...don’t try this at home bros.

...our virtual Seth Rogen (saw) head acceleration reaching over 250 g and the head injury criterion (HIC) value reaching over 3500. In automotive crash tests, engineers typically flag head acceleration values of more than 80 g over a duration of three milliseconds. The maximum HIC value allowable in automotive crash testing is 1000, which also greatly exceeds industry safety guidance.

We also observed forces on the spine reaching nearly 8 Kilonewtons (KN). Though the peak force is only reached for a few microseconds, 8 KN is the equivalent of close to 1,800 pounds of force (over 800 kg).

Finally, a neck injury criteria (Nij) is a formula to express injury potential combining four possible modes of neck loading – tension, compression, forward (flexion) bending, and rearward (extension) bending. For good safety ratings, engineers aim to achieve a Nij number below 0.9, but our data shows a Nij number of 1.2, a very high number which equates to elevated risk of serious, possibly even life-threatening injury.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Riddle me this

Most of the major automotive manufacturers breathlessly announced that they will have phased out "carbon based fuel" powered vehicles and completely switched over to electric/renewable vehicles by 2040.

If a very large percent of the vehicles carry workers to their jobs and those vehicles spend most of the daylight hours in the employer's parking lots, how will the battery get recharged?

Will employers be forced to install charging stations at each parking place or will every vehicle owner be required to purchase two batteries, one to drive the vehicle and one to recharge during the day?

Or perhaps people will be forced to live within five miles of their place of employment. Or maybe the only viable alternative is mass transit with buses tapping into overhead wires.

"Ah-ha!" you say. "People will work at night!"

Fine. Their vehicle recharges all of the daylight hours and people become nocturnal. That will be a natural fit for a few people. Is everything going to be in Braille or will their work places have lighting? If it has lighting, where will THAT electricity come from?

Or is it just a shell-game where opinion-makers keep shuffling the cups to create the illusion that something disappeared? That huge wind-turbine: What is the embedded energy and what is the pay-back period before the turbine is a net producer of electricity? Ten years? Fifteen years? Remember that there is a YUGE block of concrete hidden from sight keeping the tower upright and concrete is made by heating limestone and clay in a kiln with FOSSIL FUELS. 

All that carbon added to the atmosphere up-front in the hope that it stays operational until the break-even point.

Reloading 7.62X39mm


A bucket of spent steel-cased ammo. The interesting thing about this photo is that a wasp decided to lay eggs in the casing near the very top of the photo. The mouth of the casing is sealed with a clay plug. It was not the only casing that was like that.

"Hey, Uncle Joe, do you have reloading dies for the 7.62 Commie?"

As a matter of fact, I do NOT have dies for the 7.62x39mm round commonly used in the SKS and AK variants. There are several reasons for that.

For one thing, when ammo is available I cannot come close to the cost of Eastern Bloc imported ammo.

Another reason is that almost all of the ammo is steel-cased and lacquer-coated. The brass is not brass. Even if you clean up the cases the lacquer will gum up the dies and the steel is less forgiving of multiple resizings.

A third reason is that all of that cheap Eastern Bloc ammo uses Berdan primers rather than Boxer primers. The Berdan primer incorporates the primer's anvil in the case rather than being integral to the case like the Boxer primer. You need to use hydraulic methods to remove the spent case. That is a slow and messy process.

A fourth reason is that the ejectors for the SKS and AK varients smack the side of the case where the wall is thin. It is a very robust ejector but it knocks the snot out of the case. Nearly all US designed arms have the ejector striking the base of the case where the metal is much, much thicker.

A fifth reason is that the bores of rifles chambered in 7.62X39mm vary a great deal. Some rifles manufactured in the US have 0.308" groove diameter. The standard is 0.310" but they can be as large (or as eroded) as 0.313".

And finally there are the shooters...Conditioned by the incredibly cheap ammo most of them are spray-and-spray some more shooters. They can go through 200 rounds of ammo in a single session. Compare that to somebody who shoots woodchucks with a 22-250. Two hundred rounds will  last him two years to a decade.

The round itself

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the round itself. Frankly, it is far more versatile than the .30 Carbine round the US fielded in WWII. It holds about as much powder as a 30-30 Winchester in a more compact round.

Expanding projectiles

Tumblers. The hollow-point is not designed to initiate expansion. The mechanics of the hollow-point are to make the front end of the projectile "fluffy". When it hits flesh, the dynamics of the projectile are like a badminton birdie thrown ass-end forward. It wants to swap ends or tumble.

Shoot a home-intruder in the thoracic region with 7.62 Commie and an expanding projectile and call it good. That might be the only valid reason to reload the 7.62 Commie; the Eastern Bloc projectiles are tumblers rather than expanders.

So even though I was asked by a family member, I don't plan to start reloading the 7.62 "Commie"